2012-13 CRC Tournament >> Results Press Coverage
By Kurt Stubbs
Cancer Research Classic
WHEELING, W.Va., Jan. 5, 2013 -- The marquee match up of Saturday’s line up featured unbeaten Montverde Academy (FL), who is arguably the best team in the country, against Simeon (IL) featuring one of the nation’s best players in Jabari Parker, a Duke commit.
In the end, the highly anticipated match up on ESPN-2 in front of a standing room only crowd at the Alma Grace McDonough Center, never panned out to its hype. Montverde was just too deep, talented, big, and well coached for Simeon. Montverde sent shock waves around the country with its 82-53 thumping of the Wolverines.
Parker came out of the gates fast and looked more like the player that dawned the cover of Sports Illustrated than the one recovering from an injury. It’s no secret Parker has struggled to get back into playing shape, but it was evident on Saturday that he is starting to come around. The 6-foot-8 senior scored 12 points and grabbed six boards in the opening half showing some signs of getting his explosion back.
Despite Parker’s efforts and trailing by just a point after eight minutes, Montverde used a lopsided 2nd quarter to take a 43-24 lead into the locker room. The Eagles held a 28-10 advantage in the period thanks to the outstanding play of junior Justin Bibbs coming off the bench to score 11 points on 4-of-4 shooting. Fellow Ohio native Devin Williams (Cincinnati), who is a West Virginia commit, added 11 points as well.
The 2nd half was clear that Parker isn’t fully back as his lack of stamina showed by the standout only attempting two shots and scoring just a single point. However, 6-foot-7 sophomore Edward Morrow did manage eight markers in quarter to keep the game respectable.
Dakarki Johnson, a 6-foot-11 senior and playing in front of Kentucky head coach John Calipari and assistant Orlando Antigua, had an excellent 2nd half totaling 14 points in the final half of the contest. Johnson would eventually commit to Kentucky later in the night live on ESPN-U during the DC Gonzaga/Salesian match up.
Montverde closed the game in grand fashion with a 23-12 decisive 4th quarter advantage. The Eagles once again did so with great balance, which makes the Florida-based school a nearly impossible match up.
Johnson, who is the newest Kentucky commit, recorded 18 points and 15 rebounds. Williams added 15, junior D’Angelo Russell chipped in 14, and Bibbs and Florida commit Kasey Hill evenly divided 26 counters. Bibbs earned the MVP with a 5-of-5 effort from the field.
Parker led Simeon with 17 points and 13 rebounds. Morrow totaled 10 points.
Montverde made 20-of-26 free throws compared to just 9-of-12 for Simeon.
Stat of the Game:
The winners were guilty of just seven turnovers compared to 19 for the Chicago-based outfit.